Outboards. Outboards. Outboards everywhere! Mercury Racing’s factory floor is a buzz of activity. We’re busy with a large build of low-emissions 2-stroke OptiMax 200XS SST (Super Stock Tunnel) and ROS (Race Offshore) outboards. A majority of the direct-fuel injected engines are headed to Europe for race venues in Sweden, Italy and France.
Complete engines and conversion kits are being built. The conversion kits, which include a powerhead, tuner, cowlings and gearcase, are a one-time offer for the 2011 season. The SST and ROS kits are available to racers who want to upgrade from older, naturally aspirated, 2.0 liter SST 120 and XR2 Race Offshore engines.
Both SST and ROS end models feature a 2.5 Liter V-6 OptiMax powerhead which combines components from the OptiMax 2.5XS and the Mercury Racing engineered 175 Pro XS outboard.
The 200XS SST features a 12-inch race mid section and a unique IV SSM gearcase which switches the right-hand engine rotation to a left-hand propeller shaft rotation. This is required for the hard, left-hand turns of tunnel boat race courses.
The 200XS ROS features a 15-inch mid section and a 1.75:1 Sport Master gearcase. Models are available in both right-hand and left-hand rotation for multiple engine applications.
The first batch of OptiMax 200XS SST race outboards to leave Fond du Lac are heading to Rouen, France. There they will power Class 2 competitors in the 48th annual 24 Hours of Rouen endurance powerboat race, April 30-May 1. Mercury has powered more podium finishers in Rouen than any other outboard manufacturer. The 200XS SST won the 2000 24 Hour race, beating larger, higher power Evinrude and Johnson engines and has won the Class 2 competition many times. Much of the engine’s success in Rouen can be attributed to the fuel efficiency of the direct-fuel injection OptiMax technology. Race teams take full advantage of the engines superior fuel economy over competitive carbureted and electronic fuel injected engines. OptiMax powered boats can run more laps using less fuel – thus reducing the number of fuel stops. Performance, durability, fuel efficiency. Vital assets for success in Rouen.
Today, the 200XS SST is the exclusive power for F1 H20’s Nations Cup Championship. The all-new series features two boat teams representing countries from around the world competing in identically rigged tunnel hull race boats. The Formula 2000 Mercury Grand Prix series in Sweden features the 200XS SST in SST200 class racing. Numerous U.S. promoters, including the APR Superleague, feature the engine in SST200 class racing as well.
The OptiMax 200XS ROS is the exclusive power behind Union International Motonautique (U.I.M.) Class 3C offshore racing, a highly competitive single engine offshore racing class which competes throughout Europe. Numerous outboard offshore racing series, including XCat World Powerboat Racing Series, are considering the 200 XS ROS for future competition use. The engine is being tested by the Outboard Drag Boat Association for future low-emissions classes as well.
It is refreshing to see racing organizations throughout the world acknowledge what we’ve known for sometime; OptiMax has a place and a future on the racecourse.